It's been two days - 48 and 1/2 hours - since we had to say good-bye to a friend and fun companion, our little 10 pound pup, whom I lovingly called Rox, who never failed to come when I called. Reminders of him are everywhere, of his LIFE - which brings a smile to my face but an ache to my heart. My daughter found one of his hairs in her breakfast this morning, to which she said, "Hopefully I'll find one tomorrow, too". Totally gross in an odd sentimental sort of way. My husband couldn't help but laugh a little as I felt the same while picking up the last dog poops in our backyard.
The part which troubles my soul is the guilt, could we have done more for him? We had to bring him home Monday evening after a full day at the vet's, even though he was not well, as the bill was mounting. He was in a safe place, we brought medicine for him, and I stayed with him for most of the night until I was emotionally and physically exhausted. The vet tells us no money in the world could have saved him, but the guilt of what if sits on my shoulders like a heavy brick. His suffering seems unfair, his life snuffed out too early.
My thoughts travel to Easter. Only hours after our tragedy - yes, small in comparison to the suffering happening all around us - we take time to remember the sacrifice of Jesus on the cross. It somehow brings a deeper understanding of Easter's events to me. To see suffering, without being able to do something, can be, should be, difficult to digest. And yet God willingly gave his Son, the only one He had, to suffer a horrible death, for us. And although God could have stopped Jesus' suffering at any moment, He turned His back, because of His love for us, because of the new life that would be birthed. How much His heart must have grieved! How great His love is for us, for our LIVES, for them to be made whole.
The most shocking part about the events in the past few days must have been holding the keys of life and death in my hands. In one way it is humbling, in another it is far too powerful for me grasp. Reading "euthanasia" on the vet's bill sent shivers down my back. And yet God tells us that we hold the power of life and death in our hands, over our own lives, and the lives of those around us, through the words we speak and the actions we take. Perhaps we have taken this too lightly. Perhaps life has been undervalued.
We abort babies, yet save the whales.
Many Christians, myself included, have spoken up against abortion. And at the same time we have become disgusted with environmentalists, vegetarians, and PETA. For what reason? Can we not treasure both? In Proverbs it says, "The righteous regards (even!) the life of his animal". Our society may turn upside down the value of a fetus versus a whale. However, I think it's time for "the rest of us" to bring more opposition against the killing of our very own babies, and at the same time demand better living conditions for the animals God entrusted human kind with.
As this is a food blog, I am taking the time to say we need to do something about the horrendous suffering we put our cows, pigs and chickens through as they are pumped with outrageous amounts of garbage to make them bigger faster, so we can fill our plates with larger portions. I have often snickered at certain people who thanked their animals for their lives, just before slaughter. Please take a moment to think about this - what is so crazy about that?
Regard the life of your animal... I'm just sayin!